You may be seeing Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski sooner, rather than later. How about Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
According to a source, Gronk is doing very well in his rehabilitation from back and forearm surgeries performed in May and June. He's "right on schedule" for a mid-September return. In fact, he's healed and advanced to the point where he would be close to playing Week 1 in Buffalo, the source said.
However, the more realistic time frame for him to be ready and in "football shape" would be shortly after, right around Game 3 against Tampa Bay assuming there are no setbacks.
As the story points out, if that's the case, the Pats likely wouldn't keep Gronk on the PUP list, causing him to miss the first six games of the season. The article goes on to say that, unless the Pats play it very safe, it would appear they'd take him off the PUP list with thoughts of having him as early as Game 3, or perhaps Game 4 in Atlanta. We've heard all along his rehab had been going well, but this is a very optimistic outlook for him.